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Luxury Living in a Failed State
Luanda, Angola—not Moscow, Tokyo, or Hong Kong—has become the world’s most expensive city for expats.

Really great reporting on life in Luanda, Angola, where colonialization was particularly destructive and wealth disparity is just astonishing: Many apartments in Luanda rent for $20,000 a month, but most Angolans live on less than $2 a day. 

Angola’s per capita GDP is 10 times higher than Ethiopia’s, but a child born in Angola is more than twice as likely to die before age 5 than a child born in Ethiopia. Life expectancy is higher in Ethiopia, too.

This is a credit to the Ethiopian women who form the backbone of the country’s health care system, but it’s also a tremendous indictment of the Angolan government. Really worth reading.

African slaves in Mexico

Angolan slaves made majority of the Africans in Mexico followed by São Toméan. During 1631 - 1640 Angolan slaves made 96.21% of the total African slave population in Mexico.

Christians, Blasphemers, and Witches: Afro-Mexican Ritual Practice in the Seventeenth Century:

Bristol’s work is vital in that it is more attentive than earlier works have been to the African background of a population that was largely born in Africa, especially in focusing, using recent Africanist scholarship, on the appropriate areas of Africa. It is also important in that it pays full attention to the specific character of the seventeenth-century African cohort in Mexico that hailed from Christian Angola.



GIRLHOOD (1999 Sundance Documentary Film Grant): Documentary chronicling America’s justice system. Follows two female inmates - victims of horrific violence and tragedy - who are serving time in a Maryland juvenile detention center. [Get “Girlhood”]

THE FARM (1998 Sundance Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize Documentary & OSCAR​’s ​Doc Nominee): Documentary depicting day to day life in Angola Prison mostly from an inmate’s perspective. Interviews are with several inmates including one with a life sentence who is about to die. [Get “The Farm”]

WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE? (Premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival): Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs, this is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone. 

In this week’s issue, Michael Specter looks at the severe inequality of the Angolan oil boom:

For the past two years, Luanda—not Tokyo, Moscow, or Hong Kong—has been named, by the global consulting firm Mercer, as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates. Luanda’s lure, and its treasure, is oil.

Illustration by Emiliano Ponzi

My school had international day not too long ago and it was that day that I realized that the African continent in itself is the most diverse on the planet. The first picture captioned “The African Continent” consists of people from Tanzania, Angola, Egypt, and South Africa. Made me really realize that Africa isn’t just black people, I hope this picture suppresses that stereotype. 



Délio Jasse 


Photographic emulsion on Fabriano paper

Délio Jasse, was born in 1980, Luanda Angola. He lives and works between Luanda and Lisbon. In the photographic serious -  Pontus, Délio captures daily life in Luanda experimenting with the different technical possibilities of this medium, especially the alternative processes such as the cyanotype, the platinum/palladium.